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Providing a Lifetime of Wellness for Annapolis MD Area Pets
Just as with humans, optimum pet health isn’t achieved overnight. It requires a combination of preventive care, healthy lifestyle choices, and ongoing effort. That’s why at Bay Country Veterinary Hospital, we believe in working with our clients so that they are educated and informed about what we can do together to keep pets happy and well.
A Closer Look at Proper Pet Care
The first step to ensuring good pet health is a comprehensive physical exam. For pets between the ages of 1 to 7, we recommend that this be performed annually. For senior pets or those who have a chronic condition, we suggest physical examinations at least twice each year.
During this nose-to-tail exam, the veterinarian will check the patient’s ears, eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, coat, and skin; palpate the abdomen; and inspect the limbs and paw pads to ensure all is well. Your pet’s weight and temperature will also be measured, and a urine sample may be obtained. It’s helpful to establish a baseline for each patient so, if health or behavioral changes do take place, the causes can be diagnosed and treated quickly.
Pet vaccinations will also be administered at this time. While certain vaccines are required for cats and dogs, others are only necessary depending upon the pet’s lifestyle. Our veterinarians will carefully review the options with you to determine which vaccines are needed for your pet. For additional information about this topic, please visit our pet vaccinations section.
During your pet’s wellness exam, our veterinarians will discuss parasite prevention. Because certain parasites can be transmitted from pets to humans, we recommend an intestinal parasite screening each year for cats and dogs. In addition, preventive deworming is recommended to ensure that your pet is free and clear of harmful internal parasites. Dogs require one additional test that cats do not. It is a three-fold screening that tests for heartworm disease, Lyme disease, and ehrlichia, the latter two of which are transmitted by ticks.
In order to protect your pets from fleas and ticks, our veterinarians will discuss how much potential exposure your pets receive to these parasites and will make recommendations about preventive measures accordingly. Should you need to purchase flea treatment or control products, our in-house pharmacy will enable you to do so quickly and easily.
Cat and Dog Dental Care
Going to the dentist may not always be a pleasurable experience, but we know that it’s necessary in order to protect our teeth and gums. Proper dental and oral care is essential for cats and dogs as well. During your pet’s annual wellness exam, the veterinarian will check to see whether there is a build-up of plaque and tarter and if there are any noticeable tooth or mouth abnormalities. If a dental cleaning is needed, it will be conducted with care, as our veterinarians and staff are highly skilled at providing these services. To learn more about your pet’s dental health, please visit our pet dental care section.
Spay and Neuter: The Health Facts You Need to Know
Spaying and neutering play an important role in our pets’ overall wellness plan. Aside from the obvious benefits of preventing unwanted litters, there are many other reasons to have dogs and cats spayed or neutered. After reading about the benefits, you may decide this procedure is right for your dog or cat. We typically suggest puppies or kittens have this surgery at around 6 months of age. However, if you have an adult animal, it is never too late to have this surgery performed. Please contact us with any questions you may have or to schedule your pet’s surgery.
Spay surgery (ovariohysterectomy)—This procedure involves the removal of the ovaries and uterus of a female pet. Benefits of this procedure include:
- Prevention of unwanted litters.
- The elimination of the possibility of ovarian and uterine tumors.
- A decrease in the chances of developing mammary tumors, which non-spayed (or intact) females are at higher risk of developing.
- Potential prevention of pyometra, which is a life-threatening infection of the uterus. If an animal develops pyometra, it typically requires emergency surgery to remove the uterus.
- May decrease aggression.
Neuter surgery (castration)—During this surgery, the testicles are removed from male pets. Benefits of this procedure include:
- Prevention of unwanted litters.
- The elimination of the possibility of testicular tumors.
- A decrease in the chances of developing prostatic disease, prostatic abscesses (infections), and cysts.
- May decrease the tendency to roam, since intact males often stray in search of females.
- Could decrease hormone-related aggression.
Microchips: An Ounce of Prevention for Your Pet
Collars and tags are typically the first line of defense to having a pet returned to its owner should it escape. Unfortunately, collars can come off quite easily, leaving a cat or dog roaming with little hope of being identified. Thankfully, having a microchip can solve this dilemma quickly and easily. Microchips are about the size of a grain of rice and, once they are placed into your pet, they can be detected by scanners used by animal shelters and veterinary hospitals around the country. Please contact us if you would like to schedule this simple procedure for your pet today!
Library of Cat and Dog Care Materials
At Bay Country Veterinary Hospital, we are happy to speak with you about any health concerns you may have regarding your pet. We also understand that you may want to learn more about various pet care topics from the comfort of your own home. Below are some resources to enable you to do just that: